Sunday, August 14, 2016

Outside In

Baby, it is hot, hot, hot, but I am doing OK.

The thermometer is reading 100F, the relative humidity is 93%, and it is not a good day to work or even sit outside.   Breathing becomes an issue and I have always thought that taking a breath consistently is good for my health.  I did go out yesterday to pick some tomatoes and fix some plants but when the shade moved, so did I.  It took me a good half hour to recover from my fifteen minutes in the backyard. So, unless it is a matter of great importance for me to move, I will be relaxing on the couch with a cold glass of ice tea in my hand and my sweet Daisy at my side, enjoying my deck garden in all its glory, from the cool, comfortable inside. How wonderful is air conditioning!


Monday, August 1, 2016

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

There are only 50 days left in summer.  I am not sure where this season went, but I am doing OK.

I used to be 5'4 1/2" tall. When asked now (especially by my doctor), I say "about 5'4".  If somebody measured me today, I am probably closer to 5'2".  My grandchildren used to be little, now we are eye to eye and they keep growing.  So is the circle of life.  I disappear a little at a time and the younger ones sprout as fast as a daisy and take over the garden.  Nature has its way in all things and no matter what man does through medical technology, the sands of time move on and everything changes.  However, the fountain of youth stays always in our hearts.

So, what to do, what to do.  I look for sneakers and shoes with a little lift.  I stretch my head to look forward and try not to look back. I stand as tall as possible with pride for what I have accomplished. I play happy music and sing along as loud as I can and sometimes hit those high notes. I dance when no one is looking and also when they are.  My clothes are colorful, and I don't care if the shades are too bright for my age. I want to be noticed.  


My surroundings have so much to do with my mood so I spend much too much money on plants.  I am a giant amongst my flowers.  I do not listen to the news so my head will not tilt low, and I make sure there are always cookies in the cupboard to turn my lips up into a smile. I can't change what Mother Nature and the world are doing, but I have to get through my day as best I can, so I never say no to sweet things and plant as many blooms as I can. This year especially.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Still Crazy After All These Years

Computer problems kept me away, but I am doing OK now.

I looked around at the scenery of the outside theater and a lump came to my throat.  Oh my, such wonderful memories had been made there.  It seemed like a short time had passed since we came here as a family in the summer months to lie under the stars and enjoy the sounds of the Philadelphia Orchestra and their famous guest artists.  But no, it had been many years, and our children, who we had taken to those events, are adults and they were now taking me to my first big concert in a long time.   That night, though, would not be the music of  Bach, Beethoven, or Strauss, it would be classical Simon, being sung by Simon.




He is an old guy, but for two hours he stood under those hot lights and sang the songs we love, and added a few new ones from his latest album, Stranger to Stranger.  His voice has not changed since I saw him over 30 years ago when he partnered with Art Garfunkle.   I enjoyed them all, but some touched me more because of the wonderful words that this most talented artist has written. The years have made me melancholy but I try not to live in the past, and that night I felt young and danced and sang and had a blast.  I felt that I had "Diamonds on the Soles of Her (my) Shoes and even if I sometimes like "The Sound of Silence", I can still shake my booty and have joy.  Koo-koo-ka-choo, Mrs. Robinson, Koo-koo-ka choo!

Stranger To Stranger

..........I'm just jittery, I'm just jittery
It's just a way of dealing with my joy
It's just a way of dealing with my joy
It's just a way of dealing with my joy
It's just a way of dealing

Words and melodies
Easy harmony
Old-time remedies.

So true.


  



















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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sweet Old Man or Stalker

 Spring is making me feel the love, and I am doing OK.
Looking for love is not that complicated, if you know where to search.
Back in February, I went to a local store to purchase some birthday cards.  I was pleased to find it not crowded and I had the whole aisle to myself.  I usually spend a lot of time picking out just the right card for each person and was glad there was no one else around to get in my way. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I could see someone walking towards me.  He was an older gentleman with a leprechaun smile, and he had two Valentine Day cards in his hand.  He tapped me on the shoulder and asked for my opinion on what he had chosen.   Both were cute, with one being more sentimental than the other.  I gave him my opinion and told him that either of those choices would earn him extra points with his lady.  We exchanged a few more words, and he thanked me for my help.  I quickly went back to my browsing while wondering where the gentleman had found those cards since I was the only one in that aisle for the last five minutes.  After getting what I needed, I decided to do a little more shopping in the store.  As I was walking to the check out counter, I noticed the old man back again in the card aisle showing another(mature) lady the same two cards he had shown me few minutes before.

I am wondering if this gentleman might have had an agenda.  Whereas he might have tried to pick up young, perky ladies in the frozen food aisle years ago, he was now trolling the aisles of the pharmacy looking for love or a home cooked meal.  One can admire his ingenuity and his inventiveness.  After 60, a drug store might be better than a bar when looking for a lady with a good prescription plan.

Our priorities change over the years.





Tuesday, March 29, 2016

That Damn Door






Spring!  That is such a wonderful word, and I am doing OK.

I have read, and so much want to believe, that walking through doorways plays with one's mind. This assures me that it is not my brain, but rather the fault of the architect who built my house who has caused me to question my sanity. In an article in Scientific America, researches at the University of  Notre Dame tested subjects (absent minded professors, perhaps) and found that the doorway effect suggests that there is more to remembering than just what you paid attention to, when it happened and how hard you tried.  They point out that some forms of memory have a shelf life and the brain purges that information in favor of new stuff.  They call this kind of memory representation an "Event Model", and propose that walking through a doorway is a good time to purge your event models because whatever happened in the old room is likely to become less relevant now that the venues have changed.  This seems similar to my pantry, where dusty jars of spices (I only needed one teaspoon) and cans of olives purchased for a long ago party, find their way to the back and are forgotten about.  I am fortunate to live in a home whose main floor is very open and rooms flow into each other, except, of course, the bathroom. So far, I have not forgotten what my mission is when entering through that door.  It is, however, when I go upstairs and downstairs that the problem seems to arise.  Doorways abound and I am left with the question, "What am I doing here".  I then run back to where I was and look for a hint of what my mission was.  It usually comes back to me but then I have to huff and puff all the way back up and down the stairs and a decision is made as to whether it is worth it.  On days of ambition, I might do it.

So maybe the answer to my brain farts is to move into a one floor, one room house.  Less doors, no stairs, and maybe there will be more room in my mind to store information that will help me find my glasses.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Nobel Peace Prize

Still winter. It snows, then is hot, then snows, then is hot (kind of like a menopausal woman), but I am doing OK.

In this year of terrible events, terrible news, and terrible politics, I was wondering how they would find someone worthy of  The Nobel Peace Prize.  As anyone can nominate or be nominated, I would like to submit a candidate for their consideration. This is a time when many of us feel squeezed out of the American Dream, when we are pulling our belts tighter and the scales seem not to tilt in the right direction. However, in the past few years, there has been an amazing breakthrough in the sciences that has given us a product that has made the world a much better place to live in and relax.  At this time I would like to propose to the committee that they consider the people and the company that has given women great comfort and joy.  Yes, I am talking about those geniuses who brought us Active Wear.   These magical outfits hug your waist and hips without accenting the overflow; they stretch; 10 lbs. seem to miraculously evaporate from the body, and there are no buttons to stick into ones navel. There also isn't an annoying zipper that may cause someone to have to recline in order to pull it up  This clothing is truly the masterpiece of the fashion world. No longer do women have to suffer through muffin tops or rolls that appear to be larger when putting on their pants and oh, how nice it is to enjoy a good meal without opening the top button of your trousers.  Even though they are called "Active" there is not a need to be active in them.  You don't have to promise yourself to run a marathon or even walk around the block.  They look very nice as you stretch out in your reclining chair while eating Bon Bons.  They come in many styles and there is something for everyone.  I prefer black with the boot or flare bottoms but I have also gotten the straight cut.  I am a little too old for the leggings, but those do look attractive (If not in a pattern of large flowers) on the right person.  There is no place that these cannot be worn.  They are perfect in the morning as you jog from the kitchen table to your couch and they are lovely to shop in as they are easy off, easy on. In the evening, with a matching top and some pearls and/or a boa, you will look stunning in the finest of restaurants. The best thing, though, is that  they are the perfect pajamas.  Twenty-four hour clothing - what we have all dreamed of having.  Men do have the option to buy them also, but so far I have only seen them on bike riders, however, they usually have padding in the rear. I have to admit that I love to watch them when they ride by.  An active man is a beautiful sight to behold.

So join with me to get those stuffed shirts who are on committees to look beyond the wars fought by men and consider the comfort and satisfaction of women around the world who have too long been bound by some type of corset or control top pantyhose and now have the pleasure of living free and looking good.




Friday, February 5, 2016

The Kettle




Thankfully, life goes on, and I am doing OK.

Everything changes, but now, it is going too quickly.  I can't keep up. I have come to the point where I think, "why learn", it will be different tomorrow.  I used to be excited about the next big thing, what was new, and the joy of mastering a new skill. There used to be time to learn and to take things in. There was satisfaction in mastering a new concept, and thinking that knowledge would take me to the next step.  Now there is no time, and I don't climb steps as easily now.  More than ten stairs leaves me breathless.

Product DetailsI was thinking of a tea kettle today.  For most of my life, there was always a kettle on the stove.  The sound of that whistle brings me back to my beginnings.  All things started with that - the tea, the dinner,  the sitting down together to talk, to laugh and to cry. I have not had a kettle since we moved into this house 13 years ago. I boil the water for my Earl Grey in the microwave, and now that we are only two, less boiled water is needed.  We eat out a lot; I like to cook, but The Retired Man does not like the fuss (or my mess). I hate that big contraption called the Keurig that is taking space up in my kitchen.  I don't drink coffee and the tea pod does not make my drink of choice, my choice.  I could have hot chocolate, but I rather make it in a pot with real chocolate and not something compressed. I miss the whistle of my kettle, I miss simplicity, I miss, I miss...

I am going to buy a kettle this week - if they still sell them.  I need to have something simple and real.  I want to hear the whistle again. It is a sound that will give me joy, at least for the first few seconds.


Monday, January 11, 2016

I Have Become One of "Those People"

 


I've been sharing my home with someone new and I am doing OK.

I had no intention of doing this and when opportunities came my way, I ruled it out.  Oh sure, there were temptations and I admit that I am attracted to those with blue eyes, but I am older now and really did not need any more complications in my life.  However, it was love at first sight and it hit me hard.  

She arrived on my front porch on a rainy night.  She was not alone, her five siblings  accompanied her. Although it was dark, I could see they were very young and my heart went out to them all.  Then their mother appeared (the neighborhood free spirit) and took them into the small house we keep on the side yard.

The next morning I paid a visit to the house and removed the roof.  There were six adorable  kittens all looking up at me.  I took one in my hands and before I knew it, she found her way into my home and heart.  She was no more than four or five weeks old and needed to be bottle fed for a few weeks longer.  The bond grew stronger.  I was able to collect all the others and gave them to a lady who fosters kittens and cats.  All were adopted within two weeks.

That was six months ago and although my family has some challenges now (don't we all), this little fur ball has given us much joy.  Daisy came into our lives just when we needed her.  In the beginning, she wore us out with her playfulness but now things have settled down a bit, and although still kittenish, she has become the most loving and affectionate pet we have ever had.

I have become one of those women now, you know, the typical cat lady, who shows you pictures of their pets at the smallest suggestion.  I accept that, as I admit that I can talk about her endlessly and I can't believe that I waited so long to write about her.  We do have another cat, Wheezy, who is not very happy with the new addition, but we try to give her the needed attention also.  She, being 11, though, would rather be left alone most of the time.

My new baby


Daisy has grown in more ways than one and now sports a very large mane and a very full fluffy coat.  She is also overweight and the vet has put her on a diet.  We over-loved her with too much food and now must cut back. This will be difficult for all of us. 

Three months after we brought Daisy into our home, her mom, Big Bucks, made another delivery.


Bucks


This time there were five.




All of these beauties were adopted within four days and we finally caught Momma.  She is now out of the kitten business and so are we.  Halleluyah and meow!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Joy to the World?




Troubled times, but I am mostly doing OK.

The world is in chaos, guns are a' blazing, and hope went down on the livability meter. I have written six posts since I was last on Blogger, and most were intended to be funny.  However, they were never finished and were left in my draft folder to be revisited on another day.  I also did not want to publish anything silly or meaningless during these past few weeks because of all the "Breaking News".  These have been anxious and very sad times.

In the midst of all of this, we all must live our lives, which can be dicey on its own. However, if we turn off the noise, and lift our heads up from our phones, we can see that there are still joyful surprises and kindness in this world.  The Retired Man and I experienced this last week when we had to make one of our many trips into the city (Philly) to deal with some issues in our lives. We took the 8:04 train and were flabbergasted that the car had not the usual, bland, modern seats, but rather cushy leather ones and the decor throughout was very retro. We felt that we were transported to "Back to the Future".  As we settled in, the conductor's voice came over the loudspeaker, welcoming us aboard, telling us where the train would stop, and in the most pleasant tone, told us to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.  He spoke a few more times during the trip,  reiterating his cheerful message and thanking us for riding Septa.  This was a commuter train, not the high-priced Amtrak line and in all my many years of riding the rails, I have never been been greeted with such enthusiasm and friendliness.  I thought to myself, "Mr. Rogers lives".  It changed our whole mood and helped make our day a little brighter.  What a wonderful gift that was!  Small things, when we least expect it, can mean so much. I wish I could have thanked him.

..


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Still Got It (sometimes)

Good things still happen, and I am doing OK.


I mind being old but I am grateful for being able to grow older.   There are many times when I can't believe that I am the age that defines me, but there are also times when the crappiness that comes with that age slaps me in the face.  I try to go with the flow as best I can, but frustration often over-comes me.

Last week, though, I had a moment that blew some of those years away.  While at my volunteer job, I was enjoying a conversation with a female client when one of the staff came by and complimented me on my outfit, especially my new boots.  Being noticed is definitely a plus, but being complimented, lifted my spirits tremendously.  The woman who I was speaking to previously said that she also liked how I dressed and that I was "fly".  "Fly", my gosh, I am fly!  How wonderful is that.  Of course, I did not know exactly what this term meant, but as I said, I go with the flow, and figured that it was this generation's word for cool.  I could not wait to tell The Retired Man when I got home, but he was clueless as to whether it was a compliment or not.  I then told my children who all laughed but told me my boots were, indeed, very nice. Today, I told my granddaughter, Ruby.  She smiled, and said, "You sure are, Mamama." Ruby's place in my will just moved up.

I might not be able to flit around like I did before, but I sure do like being fly - even if my wings are arthritic.
   

Monday, September 21, 2015

From Whine to Wine

Summer went by too quickly, but I am doing OK.

Other than commenting on other people's blogs, I have not been around Blogger too much this season.  I have written several entries, but have never finished any because of one reason or another. I hope to continue with my writing but I really don't want to be on a schedule. I do hope, though, that the people that I have come to like and admire will still pop in and say hello even if my posts are sporadic.

At this point of the year, I usually write about what I did on my summer vacation.  I actually did a lot, but I really don't want to bore people with a slide show.  Oh, you really want to see, you really, really want to see, well since you asked, here is a quick run through.

Best picture ever of me. My legs never looked so good.


May was a dry month, but then the flood gates opened up and the planting season started off well.  We visited many nurseries deciding what flowers we would choose.   I, as usual, chose too many.  We celebrated the late spring nights on our deck, admiring our work in the yard and toasting to the moonlit sky.  I could go on but.....


Vacation time came and we started off with a trip to the vineyards of the Finger Lakes of New York State.  It rained, except for one day. We stayed in a castle that had spigots of free fine wine in its halls for people to drink. Our suite had a hot tub that I could get in, but not get out (picture omitted). Their restaurants were lovely and with the company of good, dear friends, we had a great time.  I could go on, but ......

10 year old granddaughter looking for a wave 

When we returned home, Hubby (renamed, The Retired Man) went out to California to visit our daughter and her family for two weeks.  He had a great time and I was so happy for that.  He drank fine California wine on the beach and I drank cheap wine on my patio, except when it rained, which it did plenty in Pennsylvania.  I could go on, but ......
A mule and carriage tour of Charleston

Two days after he returned, we took off for Charleston, SC with my youngest daughter and grandson. We love the city (been there three other times) and took in many of their interesting and fun sights. If it hadn't rained so much, we could have seen more. We met up with some very dear friends in the day and had some fine wine in a lovely restaurant named Cypress in the evening.  It was a very enjoyable day.  I could go on, but ......
A horse and carriage tour of Beaufort

Relaxing our time away on Harbor Island

The next morning we were off to our destination, Harbor Island, a private island that is a preserve for birds, alligators and turtles near Beaufort, (a gem of a city).  There we met up with another daughter, her husband and our grandchildren.  They stayed in a fantastic eight bedroom house/McMansion with another family.  We had rented a condo on the beach not too far from them.  We all got together everyday and enjoyed some fine wine in the evenings when the kids were otherwise occupied. We were glad that the decks and porches had an overhang because of all the rain. I could go on, but......



We returned home and worked on the gardens.  The flowers were enormous and beautiful and the  tomatoes were (are) large and plentiful because of the rain.  On Labor Day, we went to a local vineyard that has an annual festival at the end of the summer and drank semi-fine wine.  We had a wonderful time enjoying good music with the company of  very dear old friends. It did not rain.

I could go on, but ...... I already did.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

No Phone Zone


The best days of summer are here, and I am doing OK.

It is warm and wonderful and the perfect time to enjoy an ice cream treat. On these lovely evenings, with the sun still high in the sky and the air being pleasant, there is nothing nicer than visiting the local dairy bar. The other day, after hours of trimming overgrown bushes, hubby and I decided that we deserved a reward, so off we went to our town's little piece of heaven.  There must have been about 40 gourmet flavors to choose from and we took a long time staring at the various selections before making our most difficult decision of the week.   As we sat outside on a picnic table devouring our luscious, frozen delicacies, we watched the steady stream of customers coming by with friends and family to also take advantage of the lovely August night. What I noticed was that this was a place where no one had their phones out.  Everybody was talking to each other face to face.  Children were laughing and playing rather than checking social media.  All it takes to really connect people is a cone of melting double dip ice cream.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Again

Another gun day in America, and we are not OK


Our innocence was lost at Columbine; our hearts were broken in Sandy Hook; our faith was shattered in Charleston - and the beat goes on.

 When I look at the picture of that young man who did the most despicable act in that beautiful city in South Carolina, I wonder how such evil could come from such a boy of 21 years.  Where did he learn such hate and bigotry to want to destroy the lives of innocent people who took his hand to pray.  Where was his humanity?  Were there no parents or family to teach him kindness and love or was his soul blackened from the moment he was born?  I do not understand hate; I do not understand the violence we all face in today's supposedly civilized world; I do not understand that no matter how many times these awful acts happen in our country, there is only talk, but no action.

Father's Day is Sunday.  I do believe that this man learned to hate from someone.  What we teach our children can be passed down for generations.  If we can't stop the guns, maybe we can stop the hostile attitude that prevails, whether it is silent in our hearts or more open in our actions.  Times won't change unless we do.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It is Never Too Late to Become an Entrepreneur

Sharing my days with hubby and doing OK.


The Inspector (aka, Hubby) retired last week and, so far, things are going (sort of) fine.  It is day three and I have faith (and hope) things will continue this way for at least another week.   The actuarial tables, however, tell us that we can live this life of 24/7 togetherness for 25+ more years (which in retirement years, could feel like 50)  Hmmm, no one warned me about this before I said, "I do."  Trying to be positive, I  checked the Internet for some ideas on how we should deal with this new phase of life.  Articles suggested that other than the usual route of volunteering, watching grandchildren, going on cruises, or complaining about everything, it is also a good time to start a new career. Now, they say, may be the right time to try out that great idea you had but didn't do because of the responsibilities you had when you were younger.  Unfortunately, it might be too late to become a rap artist or acrobat.



The other day, I read in our local paper about an elderly gentleman who was living in an assisted living facility and was still able to become an entrepreneur even at his late stage of life. The rent at the home was subsidized by the county so he had some of his pension money left at the end of the month to invest in a business.  Somehow, he was able to leave the premises and walk to a local liquor store.  When he returned, he sold drinks to the other residents. With the profit, he hired prostitutes to visit and entertain him in his room.  Unfortunately, things came crashing down when one of his ladies was found hiding under his bed.   His new career came to a quick halt and he was asked to leave the home.  Apparently, he was not as disabled as they thought.  I am wondering what his third act will be.  Maybe he could start up his own hedge fund as he seems to like risky business. 

Well, at least he has his memories, or maybe not.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Hairy Post




Together forever, and doing OK (sometimes).

Over the years, I have lived on and off with a hairy man.  This thing about wanting follicles wherever they can grow possibly has to do with that small part of the male brain that has not evolved from the time homo sapiens first stood upright.  Women, being on the faster tract of civilization and fashion, decided that if men wanted to mate, they had to nix some of that hair and start to smell nice.  Women also wanted them to put on pants.  Shirts, for men under 30, were optional.  Men, feeling warmer with animal skins and wool sweaters, gradually gave into the female's demands due to the human species needing to survive.  However, some hair on the face, in different styles, has remained part of the masculine need to howl with the wolf and to show their dominating force of virility.  We women have accepted it, loved, and hated it, but mostly put up with it.

Hubby would grow a manly beard in winter when he was young.  I didn't complain too much.  I knew he was vain and as soon as the spring sun would shine, his need for a perfect tan would take over and then the shaver would be used.  In the past fifteen or so years, he has remained clean faced.  Last November, though, he started sprouting stubble again.  It grew into a beautiful white beard, always neatly trimmed and looking impeccable. He looked younger, more sophisticated and like a member of Mensa.  He might have even grown an inch.  Yeah, I love the look of my manly old man.  Some things do improve with age!


Photo

Friday, March 27, 2015

Nesters

Bird watching and doing OK.

I have not written two posts in one week in a very long time, but when my hubby showed me some pictures of the hatching of some new eaglets in Hanover, PA, I wanted to share.  Though no longer on the endangered species list, the Bald Eagle is a rarity to see in many areas.  This serene bird, the symbol of the USA, is a magnificent sight and when the nesters were spotted, camera crews went to work.   For 35 days theses birds sat on eggs while millions watched their every little move. There is no privacy in Birdland ( I am sure the NSA and Google were also hiding in the trees). This particular pair are comprised of a 12 year old female who lost her mate in 2012 and a much younger male who, according to those that know, is a first time dad.  It takes between 24 and 48 hours for the chicks to peck their way out of their shell.  I like that the kids are given responsibility from the beginning.  Baby # 1 arrived on March 24th and the lazier one on the 25th.  Mom, dad and babes are doing fine. 




I am wondering which is the male and which is the female.  One seems a little clueless.

The chicks will start flying in June but will hang out at home till December.  Then they are off to see the world.  At least, that is the parent's plan. 



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

All I Needed Was A Flower Show

The snow is gone, and I am doing OK.

Last week was the end of winter in my part of the world,  at least that is what I have decided.   My hubby saw some tulip greens sticking out of the ever decreasing snow piles (which have now disappeared), so I am sure Mother Nature is lifting her frozen wand and trading it in for the greener model.  That is my hope and she better not cross me. 

A few weeks ago, in order to get myself psyched, I put on my pretty pants, grabbed my daughter and granddaughter and off we went to the Philadelphia Flower Show.  This is the largest indoor flower show in the US and is usually attended by what seems to be half the country's population. We waited till the last day, hoping that the crowds would be less, and by mid-afternoon that seemed to be the case.  Instead of shuffling, we could actually take steps and get to the front of all the fabulous displays.  This year the theme was Disney movies (or similar) and they did a magnificent job, which is usually the case

We followed the masses through the entrance.



We passed by the  Little Green House




Found "Nemo" and Dorrie




Crashed  "Cinderella's" wedding


and spied her slipper


Marveled at the exotic sights from  "Mulan"



Stopped to check out some "Cars"


Saw that "Aladdin" was not  home




  And went "Into the Woods.


and saw spring

Photo









Monday, March 2, 2015

Crying Uncle


I am doing OK, but poor Miss Circle has had it. 





















Miss T and Vanna aren't doing much better.

 
And Marilyn is just pissed.
 
 

They say Spring is just around the corner, so girls and boys, and cats and dogs, we all have to buckle up and
we gotta Believe!
 
 
"Just remember in the winter, for beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes a rose."
(The Rose, by Amanda McBroom)
 
 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Inconveniences

I slipped down some stairs a few weeks ago, but I am doing OK.


I got up this morning but my feet did not want to do the same.  They seemed to want to remain asleep and not be the wheels of my day.  I insisted, so they begrudgingly obliged.   They have been doing this a lot lately but come to life in a matter of minutes after I get my motor running. It is no big deal and I have decided to put this inconvenience in the column of my life under the title, "the crap I have to put up with".

I looked up some quotes from people much smarter than myself and their take on aging.  None of these are too deep, and they did put a smile on my face.

"We get too old quick, too late smart"
Old Dutch proverb

- Yep, we have all made mistakes.  Lessons learned are to be cherished, even if they hurt.  It has taken me a lifetime to become this brilliant.
A

"The age of a woman does not matter, the best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles."
Ralph Waldo Emerson.-

I have more time to listen, and have experienced some of the sweetest music.  I am just hoping that my strings don't snap.
A

"Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again."
C.S . Lewis

 - I have been married 47 years.  On the other hand, I have been married 47 years. I will never go back to innocence.  I grew up reading the Grim Fairy Tales, now it is all about 50 Shades of Grey.  I can't relate to either.
A

"Age is not a particular interesting subject; anyone can get old.  All you have to do is live long enough"
Groucho Marx

- I will answer with Groucho's own line. "Time flies like an arrow; Fruit flies like a banana.
G

Simply said, but it is about making the most of the moments you have and always, always,  watch your step.





Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Aah, Life

The blizzard of the century never came here, and I am doing OK.

There are different phases of life that we all pass through.  There is childhood,  followed by the joys and angst of coming of age, which leads us to an awakening with great expectations. Slowly, though, we creep into a sometimes begrudging acceptance, but this is replaced by a new awakening, and then back  to (a comfy) acceptance of most of the things that have annoyed us in the past. I have gone through them all with laughter and tears and have now arrived at a new stage of life.  Yes, I have entered my grunting years.

Recent examples:
Getting up from a sitting position. = 2 grunts.
Getting off the floor = 5 grunts (7 if the temperature is over 80 degrees F)
Sitting down after some activity  = 1 aah and 2 grunts
Sitting down in a deep chair = 3 grunts followed by a loud aah
Answering a question I answered 5 minutes ago  = one loud sigh and 2 grunts
Answering that question again  = 3 very loud grunts followed by feeling guilty
Opening a bottle or jar that now seems to be sealed with crazy glue = 6 grunts and some nasty words

The lowly grunt has its place and I have accepted it as part of my life.  It is good to still be heard.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Foodie

New year, old me, and I'm doing OK.
Marin Birds Salad Plate
I never tasted a Cronut, but I did imagine one in my mind.  It was yummy even there.

Quinoa is OK, and some recipes can make it quite tasty, but I hope it isn't part of my last meal.

My mother made me sit at the table until I ate my kale.  I would be there for hours because I could not get the dog to eat it.

Today, people take pictures of their food.  I have made food that has looked fantastic, but has tasted awful. A brussel sprouts casserole comes to mind.  My husband told me that the vegetable made even the bacon in it taste bad.  On the other hand, I have prepared some pretty good dishes that were not visionary masterpieces.

It is winter.  It is cold. There is snow on the ground.  I need to bake.  There will be sugar consumed.  It is not healthy.  Nobody lives forever.






Friday, December 19, 2014

You Are A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.

Less than a week 'till Christmas and I am doing OK.

A nearby village, that for a few decades had gone through difficult times, reinvented itself and its image to become a go-to place for people in the area.  It had once been a steel town and people were employed and prosperous there for generations.  In the seventies that all changed when the foundry closed and the jobs went away. Around the year 2000, the town fathers and mothers decided to come up with a plan to turn things around and bring new life to the often empty storefronts and streets.  The old movie theater that was built in 1906, was restored and remodeled by volunteers and now shows wonderful indie movies and hosts many musical and comedy acts.  Entrepreneurs saw the foot traffic and opened restaurants which brought others to invest in interesting shops along the walkway.  The town is alive again and festivities are held almost every weekend for people of all ages to enjoy.

During this season of light and hope, the kickoff for the holidays is the Firebird Festival, where a structure symbolizing the Phoenix that has risen through the ashes and is reborn is celebrated.  A local artist and a large band of volunteers give of their time for a few months to build this bird and it is always a fabulous sight.   Thousands come to town to see it's lighting and it is just as important to the spirit of the people of this once dying town as it is to its economy.
Photo

Then, in the dark hours of the early morning, on the day of this celebration this year, a sneaky Grinch came to town and burned the Phoenix down. 

"The Grinch hated Christmas!  The whole Christmas season!
Now please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right. 

But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
(Dr. Seuss).

Through social media, the news spread quickly.  Hundreds of townspeople quickly gathered at the site, bringing wood and tools and the rebuilding began within hours. No, it was not the bird that it had been, it was better.  It was the heart of the people who brought the Phoenix back to life and on that evening all those from our Whoville, assembled and celebrated and sang.  The flames lit up the sky and their spirit was renewed, once again.

"That's a noise" grinned the Grinch, "that I simply must hear!"
He paused, and the Grinch put a hand to his ear.

Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small
Was singing without any presents at all!

And the Grinch, with his Grinch feet ice cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling,.  "How could it be so?"
(Dr. Seuss)

 The celebration went on, the night was more appreciated, and the grinch who thought that he had stolen the night, didn't. 

However you celebrate the holidays, I wish you joy and contentment and for love to surround you. Keep your spirits high and look for the good in everyone - even a Grinch, because perhaps, he needs hope most of all.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Adult Attention Deficit Disorder and Me

Holidays are almost here, and I have slowed down but I am doing OK.

I used to pride myself on being disciplined and no matter what the odds, you could count on me to get things done. Now, it is not so much.  I need more time to accomplish tasks and in this maƱana time of my life, timetables are never thought about and I often get distracted doing the simplest of things. The "I have to do", list has become "I'll get to that another time".  I have lost my focus and my need to "ACCOMPLISH".  Getting from A to B usually has me stopping often and checking out other things that catch my fancy.  Last week, while cleaning out items in my basement to make room for outside furniture, I found myself, instead, looking through old photo albums and reading journals that had been packed away.   The chairs I planned to bring in are still outside.  This week I have company coming and there is much to do. I have good intentions and I know that all the important items, like Thanksgiving dinner, will get done (fingers crossed).  Other things will be attempted, probably done or possibly not, but I will be forgiven.  They all know that the old grey mare ain't what she used to be and they will be OK with that. Others will bring the desserts, so if the turkey isn't quite finished, we can live on pumpkin pie and fine wine.

 

It isn't always easy to get to the finish line. 

This video is not in English, but dogs speak all languages with their eyes and their tails.




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Boo



 
I bought my favorite candies for the little Trick or Treaters (+1) and I am doing OK.

I do not believe in ghosts or poltergeists or things that go bump in the night. Nope, not me.  I am sensible and believe there is a reason for everything. Practical Arleen, that is who I am.

There are those moments though.

  -  On a Sunday morning 11 years ago,  I received an IM from a dear friend who had passed away the day before.  Her name popped up on my computer and the message was just 10 numbers. I could not believe my eyes and stared in shock at the screen  I called for my husband to see it and we tried to figure out what we were looking at and what did it mean.  My friend lived alone and there was no one who could get on her account.  There had to be an explanation, but we never came up with one. And the numbers, well, we have never figured a meaning to those either. 

  -  Then there was that incident 12 years ago, shortly after my parents passed away (within 7 months of each other).   My sister  lived in their house and one night, as she lay sleeping, she heard my mother's voice call her name over and over.  It was so loud in her head that it woke her up.  She then heard a noise in the kitchen and quickly ran to it.  A fire had just started in the old heater.  She was able to get it out quickly but had it been a few moments later, it would have been too late. 

  -  My mother would often say that if there was such a thing as reincarnation, she would want to come back as a large bird and fly over all who annoyed her in life and poop on their heads.  After her funeral, the family gathered at her home.  As we all sat out in her garden speaking of memories and times gone by, Hubby came walking from the backyard and yelled that some big dirty bird let it all go on his head.  Funny, I always thought Mom liked him.

I will leave you with this one last tale.

  - A story was told on radio news last week about a British lady who had passed away.  This woman was known to be a phonoholic and so when she was being laid to rest, loved ones put her cellphone in her casket. Her granddaughter, seeking comfort, would, on occasion, send her texts.  One day, she was shocked when she received a reply.  It said, "I am watching over you".  Before you strike up the theme of The Twilight Zone in your head, I will tell you it was not the deceased who came a'calling.  Her batteries were definitely out. What it was is that relatives had closed her account  after her demise and the phone number was put back into circulation. The new owner had received these messages from the distraught survivor and decided to answer, thinking someone was pranking him.  The family was upset, but I do hope they all had a good laugh afterwards.  It certainly gave a lot of people a chuckle, including me.

Voices from beyond?  Nah, they were just computer glitches and coincidences. I do not believe in ghosts or poltergeists or things that go bump in the night.  Nope, not me.  I am sensible and believe there is a reason for everything.  Practical Arleen, that is who I am.





Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Please Look At The Dot

I should be out raking up leaves, but I am hoping they will eventually blow onto my neighbor's lawn and that will be OK (for me).

Last week, I accompanied hubby to get his once every four years driver's license renewal.  The lines are usually long and one could possibly spend hours sitting in the hard chairs getting hemorrhoids while waiting for their number to come up.  I walked in and was pleasantly surprised at the size of the crowd.  Rather than what I expected, I saw only about 50 or so souls who were totally engrossed in their smart phones. Nobody spoke to each other, because communication is now done by text, not talk.   Everything went along quickly and we were out of there in record time. 

A few years ago, when I first started this blog, I wrote about my experience at the Driving License Center.  It did not involve taking any test, it was just to have my picture taken.   Here is a rerun of that post.


Is this photo OK ma'am?
Every four years you have to renew your driver's license.   This is never a pleasant experience because as much as you hated your last picture, this one will be even worse.  Aging does not usually improve a person's appearance unless, of course, you are under 30. That expression  "you are not getting older, you are getting better" does not include the chin area.  Anyhow, around your birthday you get that letter to report for your latest mug shot which you will be identified by for the next  few years . You try to get there early before the bags under your eyes set in.  However, everybody else has the same plan, so you end up standing up against a wall for an hour or two because seating is limited, and then that look of fatigue takes over your face.  Finally you get called and you are told to sit in this very low chair, look straight ahead at the circle, and snap, the deed is done.  Five minutes later you receive your new, not improved, license to drive.

This was my year to do the deed. I prepared by getting a hair cut, but that didn't turn out well.  I kept up with my moisturizing and used some facial tanning lotion to hide my maturity spots.  I brushed my teeth with super-whitening toothpaste and practiced smiling in front of the mirror.  None of this helped.  My new license picture showed what I looked like, rather than how I saw myself,  but I figure that in four years, I will be more objective and think it was quite flattering.  There are some blessings to failing eyesight.

On another note, while I stood waiting at the DMV to be called for my photo,  I made some observations.  I noticed that most of the younger people were busy on their smart phones texting,  They were probably typing in, "I am getting my driver's license, so it's time to part-tee"  to their 300 friends on Facebook.  Other people waiting included  a man with one leg, a man in a wheelchair, a man on oxygen, quite a few older folks with walkers or canes and people complaining.  My conclusion was that there are probably many cars out there on the bad roads of Pennsylvania being driven by texting teenagers, senior citizens with handicaps and those ticked off and suffering from road rage with their hand outstretched and their finger pointed upward, all following me.

Be careful out there, better yet, take a train.